Tuesday, December 28, 2010

American bikkhunis - female monks in Fremont, California

http://awakening-forest-hermitage.blogspot.com/

Renowned Burmese monastery in Lumpun, Thailand since 1962

http://www.irrawaddy.org/

Especially famous for instruction in Pali grammar.

defective grenades, bombs from Burmese army factories - probably good news -

http://www.voanews.com/burmese/news/soldier-talk/12_25_10_soldiers_talk040-112445674.html

unofficial summary -

bombs and grenades have uneven walls and defective gunpowder due to theft and corruption -

fell short of target, killing 400 "friendly" Wa forces around 2002 when Wa were forced to march in front.

This was before the border guard force disputes between Wa and Burma forces, starting abt 2008.

If you don't have Zawgyi font, you will get alphabet soup on VOA page, but you can click on MP3 player icon and hear in Burmese.

kg

Cancer fighting vegetables

http://shine.yahoo.com/event/vitality/6-cancer-fighting-superfoods-2428408/

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi's computer paintings - which she will sell for her Cause -


Winter - computer painting copyright Aung San Suu Kyi


Flowers, computer painting copyright Aung San Suu Kyi



Summer, computer painting copyright Aung San Suu Kyi -

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has announced she will be selling these - please get in touch with her through US Embassy Rangoon, of through her Burmese and US based lawyers.

kaung

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kyi May Kaung's X'mas short story, No Crib for a Bed, in anthology Gravity Dancers -

http://www.amazon.com/Gravity-Dancers-Fiction-Washington-Women/dp/0931181305

Burmese uranium sales validated by Wikileaks -

Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 4:00 PM

DICTATOR WATCH
(www.dictatorwatch.org)

Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


VALIDATED BY WIKILEAKS ON BURMA URANIUM SALES

December 16, 2010

Please forward.


Wikileaks is in the process of releasing over 250,000 United States
diplomatic cables. The less than 1% published so far have already changing
the way we think about the world. Hitherto secret information has been
revealed about one country after another. The cables have also made
evident that the U.S. regularly lies in its public statements about
international issues. The government isn’t even close to being open with
American citizens and the people of the world.

For Burma, the Obama Administration is obliged under the Tom Lantos JADE
Act to disclose publicly what it knows about the SPDC’s nuclear program.
The State Department has refused to publish the Act’s Report on Military
and Intelligence Aid, even in the face of our Freedom of Information
filing, which was made eight months ago.

Wikileaks has provided an extraordinary opportunity to circumvent this
blackout. The organization has 1,864 cables from the United States Embassy
in Rangoon, and additional cables from other locations mention Burma as
well.

As of the time this statement was posted, at least nineteen of the
released cables involve Burma, and eight of these deal with nuclear and
related issues:

- The possible construction of a nuclear reactor - 04Rangoon88

- A large underground site in Magway, with North Korean workers -
04Rangoon1100

- How the SPDC’s growing nuclear program is a barrier to U.S. engagement,
with reference to the detection of increasing military purchases from
North Korea and an “alarming increase” in the number of nuclear science
students studying in Russia (which number Dictator Watch first disclosed)
- 09Beijing2868

- The possible shipment of uranium ore to China - 07Rangoon105

- China revealing that Burma’s North Korea relationship includes a nuclear
component and that the North is providing hardware and Russia software and
training - 09Rangoon502

- China promoting the idea that Burma-North Korea
cooperation is acceptable - 09Rangoon732

- An offer to sell uranium to the Embassy in Rangoon - 08Rangoon749

- Burma named as a WMD proliferation risk - 09State80163

The uranium sale cable is from September 23, 2008. It reports that a
Burmese national gave the embassy a vial that purportedly contained U-238.
The seller claimed to have 50kg of uranium-bearing rock in Rangoon, and
access to at least 2,000 kg more in Karenni State. However, it is not
clear when the offer took place. The cable header refers to another
communication from 2007 - State162091.

This cable validates intelligence about the availability of Burmese
uranium that Dictator Watch has previously published, albeit with some
differences.

At the end of 2006, we learned that a Burmese broker was offering to sell
yellowcake (low refined uranium). Our initial response was to inform the
U.S. We don’t want a dirty bomb with Burmese uranium to go off someday in
New York, London or Bangkok. We were told to stay away from it - we had
offered to help arrange a sting - from which we concluded that the U.S.
already knew about it.

In July 2007 we mentioned the situation for the first time in an article,
Burma: A Threat to International Security and Peace. There was no
response, official or press, to our information. We subsequently described
the case in more detail in a 2009 article, Elements of a Nuclear Weapons
Program, Threat Assessment for Burma. In this piece we disclosed that the
broker had referred to a 60kg supply of yellowcake that was stored at an
industrial center near Bangkok, and that the material was under the
control of a Wa general. We also revealed that we had learned of a second
broker. There was no response to this information either.

While there are differences, U-238 versus yellowcake, and 50 versus 60
kilograms, we think it is likely that the broker that approached the
Rangoon Embassy was the same as the first that we heard about. We would
like to know the result of the U.S. testing on the sample that the Embassy
received, and why America didn’t work to stop the broker. As far as we are
concerned, the threat of terrorism using Burmese uranium remains critical.

If the U.S. is interested, we can provide additional information on the
broker, from a document that mentions the yellowcake.

We have no doubt that as the bulk of the Burma cables are published, more
about the SPDC’s role in weapons of mass destruction proliferation will
become known. We would also comment that these are State Department cables
- the CIA, of course, knows more than State - and that the latest cable is
from early 2010. Unquestionably, the U.S. has substantial and more recent
intelligence about the SPDC’s proliferation, which in the interests of
openness it should reveal, without the need for a Wikileaks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One of the weekly broadcasts (on music and politics of famed Burmese singer Daw Mar Mar Aye -

"There is so much I still need to tell you."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/burmese/programmes/2010/12/101209_mmaye_358.shtml

The incomparable, wonderful, brave and talented Daw Mar Mar Aye.

Daw Mar Mar Aye started singing professionally at the ripe old age of 4. Her parents were troopers, her father played the Burmese hnge or horn.

In 1998, while I was working at rfa as a sr. research analyst and international broadcaster, I heard that she was in the DC office looking for work. I hurried towards the section head's glass cubicle,from which he pulled all the strings that kept us bound hand and foot.

As I went around the corner fast,I almost bumped into Daw Mar Mar Aye, coming from the opposite direction. This particular corner was not transparent.

I recognized her at once from the photograph on the cover of her CD of Burmese classical songs. To my surprise, she recognized me too. "Oh, of course I know you Nyi Ma (Younger Sister) - I worked with your cousin Ko Win Maung (the writer Min Shin) and I saw Uncle (my father, U Kaung) at the BBS."

Mar Mar Aye worked at the Burma Broadcasting Service on Prome Road in Rangoon for many years, over 20 I think.

She was wearing a scruffy looking, dirty white, old faux fur coat and looked like she was struggling to make ends meet.

I asked if her business or interview with the notorious section head was over. She said it was, so I begged to take her to lunch and we went to the Indian Buffet downstairs on M St.

I had the hunch that Mr. - had offered her something so small that she would have had to refuse. It turned out to be so. He had offered her a column to write, and that would only have given her a piece rate of $200 per pop or per week, not enough for her to stay alive in DC. She would not even get two hundred a week if they re-broadcast old pieces.

I tried to find her a recording stint with the Smithsonian, but they too declined after listening to her CD, on the grounds that it had reverb and so was maybe "not authentic." As if she could not sing the classical songs with old instruments accompanying her or a capella.

At lunch we each called the other "elder sister" and she laughingly told me how she didn't know her exact age. That's because her parents had not taken note of the date.

She said at age four, she wanted to go to school so much she enrolled herself in kindergarten. I was amazed.

She had sung for all the big shots, including army officers, spanning the democracy period of U Nu to after Ne Win's 1962 coup.

She said in 1988 her husband told her that if she "stepped out of that door" to join the pro-democracy demonstrators, she should never come back.

So she said, "OK, I'm going," and left, eventually arriving in the USA.

I was more than amazed, knowing the peak her career had been at in Rangoon.

She said her ambition was to sing in New York's Central Park and to be on American TV.

It wasn't as if she was that young any more when she had to migrate to America, but she was as spirited as ever, falling into that category of excellent Burmese women such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

She went to live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where these are a lot of Burmese refugees.

I am happy that she has this weekly column at BBC based in London. I heard that the jerk section head at radio free asia had gone around saying he had not offered her a job as "she could not do translation."

As if one should employ a top singer to be a "broadcaster" who ripped and translated and read the news.

My point was everybody would tune in as soon as they heard Mar Mar Aye was broadcasting. The jerk had apparently not offered that she should sing or talk about music on air.

A few years ago, Mar Mar Aye had a heart operation. I saw her in DeKalb, IL at a Burma Studies Conference in 2008.

As soon as she saw me, she wanted me to share her room, "so we can talk at night" but I had already arranged to share with another woman scholar, and I didn't think it right to move.

Daw Mar Mar Aye said her doctor said she should not hit high C when she sang. At the concert at the closing dinner, she said she did sing high notes.

As you can probably tell, I love strong women like Mar Mar Aye, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Su Su Nway and others.

In comparison, some of the men, brought up as little princes by their mothers, are like "strutting peacocks" as Margaret Meade's friend Geoffrey Gorer(later her husband) wrote.

Notes copyright Kyi May Kaung.

This week's ludu (the people) and Aung San Suu Kyi - rfa


Shadows cast on my portrait of Su Su Nway - Like 2203 other political prisoners, Su Su Nway remains in a remote prison in Burma, even though she has heart ailments. Daw Suu and NLD etc have pushed repeatedly for the release of all political prisoners.

Oil on canvas portrait and photo-copyright Kyi May Kaung.




http://www.rfa.org/burmese/news/questions_and_answers_with_suu_kyi-12102010160844.html/B1210ASSK/inline.html

Notes from Independent Scholar:

As in inaugural broadcast last week, all Qs were posed and recorded overseas, by exiled Burmese - some well known or very well known.

This week famous singer Daw Mar Mar Aye and others expressed their wishes for Daw Suu's good health and the security of her life, and asked her to take care -

Daw Suu's reply included that she is being guarded "one 100 %"

Two famous singers sent good wishes, there were Qs abt Panlaung or Pinlon Conference II, as advocated by Daw Suu.

Program ended with a tribute song.

Notes copyright Kyi May Kaung.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with radio free asia.

Wikileaks: Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew says Burma's generals dense and stupid -

"like talking to dead people."

http://www.asiancorrespondent.com/breakingnews/wikileaks-singapore-lee-says-burma-.htm

Aung San Suu Kyi talks to US high school students via cell phone -

http://vimeo.com/17772284

Kati Marton - Mrs. Holbrooke, formerly Mrs. Peter Jennings -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kati_Marton

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/23/nyregion/public-lives-mr-secretary-perhaps-and-ms-ambassador.html?fta=y&incamp=archive:article_related

Richard Holbroke - dead at 69

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-11/us/richard.holbrooke.obit_1_richard-c-holbrooke-diplomat-bosnian-war?_s=PM:US

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Holbrooke

So disconcerting and sad to tune into the Charlie Rose program at night, and hear Leslie Gelb and all, looking very old themselves, talking about Holbrooke in the past tense.

The only sure thing is then the name of the deceased comes on screen at the end, against a black background and the birth year has a corresponding death year, neatly enclosed in parentheses.

It makes one revert to Buddhism.

Note: Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Not new" but heart breaking - Human Rights Watch report on trafficking of Burmese women in Thailand -

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1993/thailand/

Lest we forget - why Sanctions were imposed against Burma in the first place -


Burmese antiques on sale in Thailand -- why are we losing our heritage - Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung - photo taken with permission of shop owner.



http://pale-thwae.blogspot.com/2010/12/burma-and-sanctions-debate.html

from Dr. Tint Swe in India.

hmm - tourism article on Burma

http://travelnewsworld.blogspot.com/2010/12/myanmar-revisited-visitors-story.html

Maybe there's a metaphor in how she got the cat to jump through the flaming hoop by imitating its master -

Note by Kyi May Kaung

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flowers for late Carla Cohen of Politics and Prose Bookstore



Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

Just co-incidentally, a few days ago, CSpan Books broadcast a very moving Memorial, held at the bookstore, for Carla Cohen - It was so good to see it.

Kyi May Kaung

Excellent article about Modigliani and Akhmatova -

http://www.richardnathanson.co.uk/Modiglianidrawings.htm

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ronald Davis' artist's statement -

"A Painting's Just Gotta Look Better Than the Wallpaper" by Ronald Davis

This statement was originally printed in the catalog that accompanied the forty work retrospective;
"Ronald Davis: Abstractions: 1962 – 2002" exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio in October 2002.


My work is comprised of aggressively decorative, meaningless, unidentified floating objects that pretend to be rational. Illusion is my vehicle. Opticality is paramount.

I really had no aspirations to be an artist. It was my third choice. I wanted to be a racer, or possibly a writer or a musician. Mostly a sports car race driver. I blew up an engine and went into a ditch in my twin-cam MG-A once in La Junta, Colorado, and narrowly escaped being creamed by two guys in Porsche 550s going around me at 180 while I was going just 120. I realized I might get killed doing this. That would have been OK at the time, but racing is a rich man's sport, and I couldn't afford it. So I switched to painting.

Later I found out that being an artist is much more dangerous – and just as expensive.The first painting I painted, a couple of years before I had thoughts of becoming a real painter, was a bleeding half of a cantaloupe on a checkerboard tablecloth with a fork looming overhead. As Yogi Bera says, "When you come to the fork in the road, take it."

Needing therapy, I enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute. My father paid my tuition and $150 a month for four years to keep me off the street, and to keep me from embarrassing him. Originally, I just wanted to go to Mexico and live on the beach, eat fish heads and rice, and paint; but my father wouldn't let me. I had this big ball of something in my gut, and I needed desperately to vomit it out. At the same time, I was about to be drafted into the army, and I was terrified, although willing to go. I somehow made them understand that I was incapable of military duty. I told them I would go, but that I couldn't be responsible for my actions under the stress of regimented duty. They deferred me.

In art school I discovered I had to try harder to compensate for the deficiencies of growing up knowing nothing of art in the cultural desert of Cheyenne, Wyoming. I mean, there was a watercolor society there, and some cowboy and Indian paintings, but nothing more. I saw some paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in my teens once, on a one-day whirlwind tour: the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the National Gallery. It didn't occur to me then that making those pictures that were hanging there could be something one could actually DO in life.

In painting, I had discovered a "profession" that suited my dependencies. That is to say, if I became an artist, it was partly because it fitted my lifestyle. Life is funny that way: I haven't had a drink in 18 years, but I am still an artist. Because now I know I really qualified, whereas when I went to the Art Institute for "therapy," I only suspected it. I agreed with Camus – that I was a rebel, a criminal; but one who wanted to change the world to a more beautiful place, rather than deface it. The director of the Art Institute, Fred Martin, said that I was "a pain in the ass, but a worthwhile one." In later years, the visionary art dealer who launched and nurtured my career, Nicholas Wilder, said, "You can say what you want about Ron Davis, but he sure can paint."

In the early 1960s at the Art Institute, the pervasive influence of both Clyfford Still's legacy and the prevailing Bay Area expressionistic figurative style presented a truly insurmountable hurdle, one I couldn't even go around, much less go over. I couldn't paint man's aspirations as opposed to his physical limitations! But I discovered I could paint a stripe. And later, checker-boards. Abstract geometric objects.

Thus, I was led to do the opposite, not to be intentionally contrary, but out of desperation. During my first months in San Francisco I attended an exhibition of the Ben Heller Collection of Abstract Expressionism in the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the memorial building to the veterans of World War I. Out in front was one of the many casts of Rodin's Thinker, squatting on a pedestal. Inside was Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles. I looked at it a long time, and the poles began to churn viscerally, literally, in my gut. I had to go outside and throw up on the lawn. And, I didn't know what it was, but there was a Joseph Cornell Box that transported me to the starry heavens. The pictures by Clyfford Still presented to me the stratified canyon walls of the mind and soul. My despair was that I could not, would not ever be able to make a picture like that. Having been "churned up," I struggled to learn and eclectically emulate the space and power of these great paintings. But it had already been done. The buzz word at the time was "commitment," or "existential commitment." And, as a young artist, I had to admit I didn't yet have anything to express, let alone a commitment to do so.

These were issues of personal artistic development, abstract content, and style, problems that to me were overwhelming. But my concern was how to make a picture, not how to look at one. Rather than just emulate the great works of my predecessors was not enough. My strategy became to do a Mondrian in the style of Jackson Pollock, and a Pollock in the style of Mondrian. And down in Studio 15 at the San Francisco Art Institute, an instructor of mine, Frank Lobdell, emphasized the importance of what you leave out of a painting, not what you put in.

I drove east in 1962, having been invited to the Yale-Norfolk School of Music and Art as a grantee. The crits I got there were incomprehensible. After a while I figured out they were analyzing my paintings in terms of Cubism, and Cubism was something I was not looking for. I didn't want to look at the world and then abstract it. I said I wanted to approach it more directly, just make abstract paintings – which resulted in a couple of heated discussions. Phillip Guston came up to Norfolk and sat on the lawn and talked about himself for five hours. He said, "You have to paint flat footed, not looking at your painting while you're painting it." Good advice indeed!

While I was back east I expected to be able to view the works of Pollock, Still, De Kooning, Rothko, et al. But what I did find in the museums and New York galleries were some gray boxes and some blown-up versions of panels from comic books. I was taken aback because these were not the serious, even elitist pictures I had been seeking to emulate and learn how to make. They amused me, particularly a Lichtenstein, where the viewer is looking through a keyhole at a couple, with the bubble caption: "I just looked, Brad, and there's nobody out there." It was reassuring to find out that I was the "nobody," and interesting to find in these formative years that art had become entertainment rather than a means of expression. It was liberating to discover that art didn't have to express anything or mean anything. That it didn't matter what a painting looked like.

Struggling to gain a finger hold in the formidable tradition of abstract painting, I attempted synthesis between "the Minimal Object," Pop and Op fashion, and traditional, emotion-driven expressionist painting. For instance, even though I, like DuChamp, reintroduced perspective illusion – and the illusions of objects – into my painting, the objects themselves remained abstract and non-referential, although that's usually up to the surrealist viewer. This struggle between object and the pictorial remains central to my work after forty years. I did not bring ironic non-art objects or concepts into the context of art at a time when trendy non-art was being redefined as "art." It's my belief that art as art has become devalued.

It was never my intention to deconstruct art as I found it. I strove to expand the boundaries of painting, not the boundaries of what was then becoming art: gray or glass boxes, conceptual art, installation art, performance art, minimalist art, or political art. My choice was to do the opposite, yet remain on the playing field of twentieth-century abstract painting. In my case, doing the opposite did not mean doing something completely different; I embraced the traditions of twentieth-century abstract painting. In fact, I have always remained in the Clement Greenberg "dialogue of post-painterly abstraction," although in the studio – in the moment – I haven't always followed his theoretical suggestions. Also, I can't say that I haven't been influenced by minimalism; but the emptiness of classical minimalism was not enough. I had to include beauty. By straddling the fence (not without risk), I was successful in forging a style I could call my own.

For the first of many times, I had painted myself into a corner. I was left with making an object: a container for the activity and intensity of the stoop labor. The deal is, this activity is not fun, not romantic, not expressive – it is a mindless activity that requires an empty mind, beginner's mind in the Buddhist sense. The hard work of making an object without thought or effort. "Having fun" and "feeling good," I have found out, are two different things. As it works out, the art world – the length and breadth of it – is an artist, in the studio, doing stoop labor, making things – making objects. I am envious of the craftsman, because he at least makes things that are useful.

My paintings present no narrative. What you see is not what you get. They are self-didactic, teaching me about form, and color, and perception itself. They are concave and convex, to serve either sex. But then, I am not really trying to be of service to the "art world." The paintings are often the opposite of what they seem. People think they're "happy," because I use bright colors. Conversely, some think the paintings are aloof and cerebral; rather, they are defensive, protecting my fragility. I don't know what they mean; I just know how to make them. A painting's just gotta look better than the wallpaper.

I'm hardly ever confronted with the blank canvas syndrome. It starts prior to that – I have to reinvent the concept of a blank canvas. I know a painting is finished, at least for me, when I get bored with it. Or, if it's any good, it pushes me outside of it, and I just become another viewer.

Between 1964 and 1988 I painted about a thousand paintings, bouncing between painterliness and hard-edge, or combinations. A "Pollock in a box" comes to mind. I don't always equate expressionism with gooey paint on canvas. Apollonian can be just as "expressive" as Dionysian; it's a matter of what is being expressed.

In 1965, I moved to LA. I showed a lot, sold a lot, built a big studio in Malibu, and consumed a lot. I had a very successful career. By the late 80s, I'd had enough. I'd accomplished what I'd been sent back from the future to do. (Emphatically, I think I was reincarnated. I'm from the future.) Fifty-five one-man shows had left me with the taste of ashes.

In 1990 I left the freeways of LA behind, and disengaged for the most part. I moved to New Mexico, where I built a group of domed polygonal buildings I designed with architect Dennis Holloway, based on the Navajo hogan dwelling.

I stopped painting for a while because I couldn't see any reason to make objects in the context of the 1980s, for the sake of "show biz." The self-indulgent self-promotional 80s: I didn't fit into that. So I disengaged for 10 years. This exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art is my first major exhibition in 10 years – with the exception of a small show of the 1996 Wax Series in January 1998 at a gallery in Taos, New Mexico. I did attempt to do some sculpture, enough to know I am not very good at it.

Now, I can reflect that my aspiration was to be an abstract expressionist, to walk in the footsteps of Still and Pollock but, characteristically, I was unsuited to do so. I can only construct things, something like the old European constructivists. Yet, like Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock, I am an American Westerner, and an unsophisticated one at that, though I've learned a lot in my more than 40 years of painting. I am not a "cultured" man. I can only make objects, but "paintings as objects" was not enough, either. I was able to make it a bit more complicated by attempting to make pictures of illusions of objects. One thing I can say is that the subject of my paintings is not the unconscious.

A lot of people think I make my paintings – these objects – for them. They're wrong about that. The activity is selfish. On bad days, I feel that it's just a vehicle to confirm that I will be misunderstood once again.

Ultimately, my success was really my personal failure, my original goal being to be a starving artist. Dealing with success has been so much harder than making paintings. If I've made any contribution at all, it is that counter to the glacial movement of serious twentieth century painting since C├ęzanne towards flatness, I reintroduced the theorems of three-dimensional Renaissance mathematical perspective into my made objects – my constructions. This is my legacy, my contribution to the art history books. With this, I stumbled into a style of painting that can excavate walls, shift the point of view of a Looker in a post-Einsteinian relativity within the context of a terrifying, existential, overpopulated nuclear world, where the observed is – only perhaps – relative to the Looker.

Even though paintings are not intrinsically useful, it was my thought that my paintings never wore out, no matter how much people looked at them, nor how many people looked at them. But I found out that when the paintings are moved or shipped, they are physically easily damaged. Of course that doesn't happen out of maliciousness, but from lack of common sense. People will carefully put a plate in the cupboard, but will hang a big fragile painting with a little picture hook – and it falls off the wall!

People don't understand that as an artist, I some-times feel like the world wants to hang me on the wall by the scruff of my neck. I am not my paintings. (Sometimes I catch myself talking about them in the third person.) People often don't understand that an artist is someone who has to fill out a credit card application, who has to put the word "artist" in the space after "occupation."

I think "Artist" has become a devalued word. Somebody told me once that the Greeks didn't even have a word for "artist." Their word was "artisan." That word fits me better, I believe, because I make things – I'm more of an object-maker than a picture-painter.

I did make a few gallery-museum sales and connections during the time I wasn't working on actual painting. Actually, I have been working all along, the whole time. The wood sculptures, the encaustics. The watercolors I painted with my son. The computer drawings – hundreds of them. I am always in the process of learning three dimensional drawing and technical modeling techniques with new computer programs. The exploration of and experimentation with new modes of visualization. And I spend a lot of time building and maintaining the web site www.abstract-art.com.

When I stopped serious painting, I didn't go dormant. There has been an alchemical process at work, a trans-formation I can't explain except to say that these new paintings are an "inside job." I am making them from a sense of personal obligation, which means a lot of things to me. On September 11, 2001, I watched the second airplane fly into the World Trade Center on television. After I cried, lit candles, and hung up my American flag on the front door of my kitchen hogan, a grave sense of my own mortality struck me. A week later, I drove to Albuquerque and bought seven hundred dollars worth of materials, something I haven't done for a very long time. I know that for me, the only way to make a difference – which really will make no difference whatsoever – is to go into the studio for the rest of my life, and vent my emotional responses to the events that have changed all our lives forever. The new paintings are neither expressions nor representations of that event. My generalship in the world against existential terror-at-large is to just do the work in my studio.

I am not a connoisseur. I have not intentionally been to a museum in 15 years. I have no gallery affiliations. I have no subscriptions to art magazines. I read paperback novels and military history. I socialize little, and I watch a lot of TV. I abhor travel.

As I near my 65th birthday, I have come to know that the whole of the art world and of art history itself, is contained in the isolation of this artisan, making an object, a picture, in the dark of the night.

I'm just trying to figure out how to pay the $186 light bill.


— Ronald Davis
February 2002
Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico

Mrs. O in India etc - style -

http://mrs-o.org/newdata/?currentPage=5

And Bob Dylan himself --

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=bob+dylan+blowin+in+the+wind

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=bob+dylan+blowin+in+the+wind

Kim Aris, son of Aung San Suu Kyi sings Blowing in the Wind, with guitar accompaniment - at an AIDS benefit -

http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=kim+aris+blowing+in+the+wind

Susan Landauer - wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Lindauer

Asian Human Rights - Burmese prisoner attacked due to his complaints of inhuman conditions

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1012/S00078/burma-prisoner-attacked-over-complaint-of-inhuman-conditions.htm

Financial Times - Why Thailand invests in Burma -

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2010/12/02/why-thailand-invests-in-burma/

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The late Thai Princess Mother and her home on Doi Tung -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doi_Tung

Ancient Khmer roads Angkor in Cambodia to Phimai in Thailand - GPS based maps -

http://www.sundial.thai-isan-lao.com/dharmasalaroute.html

New Zealand signals it does not believe in new Myanmar government -

Myanmar to be known as Burma for Government(of New Zealand)
Home » News » Political
Thu, 2 Dec 2010
News: Politics | Burma | Murray McCully | Myanmar

The Government is to change its position on Myanmar and return to calling it Burma.

The Asian nation was known as Burma until 1989 when the military government officially changed it to Myanmar.

The Government has accepted a recommendation from Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to use Burma, Radio New Zealand reported.

Mr McCully said the change signalled that New Zealand refused to recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military regime.

The Government's position allows for the use of Myanmar where the country is recognised as such, including at the United Nations.

Australia, France and the United Kingdom prefer to use Burma while the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a member, use Myanmar.

( Online edition of Otago Daily Times, NZ )

Bangkok Post - Thai timber company prevented from bringing Burmese teak through Salawin National Forest -

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/208922/timber-firm-plans-lawsuit-over-licence-renewal-row